GREGORY KERR - A SUITE OF RECENT PAINTINGS
Jul 10 – Aug 10, 2020
Almost all of my paintings begin with a point of departure that is a particular reference – whether a specific image or a theoretical notion – that serves as the generator of a long process of accumulation, rejection, over-painting, re-consideration and by the grace of the household gods, a point of resolution. The titles, when they are not self-evident, are more often than not a metonym for a complexity of thoughts, experiences and histories that have arisen through the generative process. Mme. Gauguin in Yellow Armchair, for instance, is thus named because while I was painting the piece I kept being reminded of the rich heritage of Japanese influence in Modernist painting. I had started with the little girl in the left-hand corner and had no plans to make anything Japanese, but as she grew so I shifted my plans for the completion of the work. It is one of very few that I have left relatively minimal. I usually allow a good deal of texture, patina and history to inform. The title echoes Cezanne’s famous portrait of Mme Cezanne in Chicago, but the cloisonné treatment is more Gauguin, so . . . I would not mind if someone looked for Mme Gauguin and got confused when she didn’t appear.
On the occasions when I have wanted to record a discreet event, such as the fires of 2018, I have allowed the subject to remain intact and then explored ways in which to deal with it. Wedding 5, is an example of when an event presented itself (I saw a wedding party doing a photo shoot on the still-smouldering dunes behind our house) and then I did a series of related images with the figures remaining consistent.